Tel Aviv: In 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco announced controversial normalization agreements with Israel, made decades earlier by Egypt and Jordan, with Israel in 1979 and 1994, respectively.
During a White House event on 15 September, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed a US-sponsored deal officially known as the Abraham Accord to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
“It should be accepted that the UAE and Bahrain normalized relations with Israel at the official level, but there was already a normalization at the covert level,” said Atek Zarla, a Yemeni researcher.
He cited American pressure and weakness of Arab countries and Islamic institutions to normalize relations with Israel for the two Gulf countries.
“The Arab people were not at the same level of protest and disapproval of normalization, so the UAE took the opportunity to declare this with Israel formally.”
Ahmed Atwana, director of the Vision Center for Political Development, believes that Iran’s growing influence across the region was also a primary reason behind the UAE and Bahrain’s normalization with Israel.
“Iran’s strong presence in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen increased the Arab Gulf states’ need for American support and security. This allowed the US to put more pressure on these countries and condition them to serve through Tel Aviv.”
Advantages and Disadvantages
Jarella said that Imrati’s aspiration to increase regional influence was behind the decision to normalize Israel relations.
“The UAE does not see itself as an attractive country in the international community and a popular level in Arab and Islamic countries. Therefore, it believes that the Zionist lobby region affects its territory and protects its human rights record at the International level, “he said.
For Bahrain, Zarallah said, “Its benefits are as low as the size of the country. Its best advantage is to be present in international agreements, as well as to make way for any popular Shia movement that threatens its governance.” ”
Aitavana shared a similar view: “These countries may feel that they gained an immediate advantage through strengthening relations with the US and acquiring particular Israeli security and military systems, or in facing potential risks. As a friend or colleague in the area to help.
“But these countries will not secure any real gains, mainly because these countries are much richer and have successful experiences in terms of economics, health care and education compared to Israel.”
On the contrary, these countries are losing a lot at the strategic level.
Ravana said, “They are strengthening Israel’s influence in the region, which will sabotage in these countries, as we have seen in Egypt and Jordan, which normalization with Israel got them nothing,” Atwana said.
Killer of peace
Abu Dhabi said that Israel had suspended plans to remove a large portion of the occupied West Bank as part of its normalization deal with Israel. But the agreement raised concerns that such a move would allow a two-solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by mutual consent.
“This normalization will not lead to fundamental changes in the region, except that it represents a strong setback for Palestinians and Palestinians,” Ravana said.
“The agreement significantly weakened the Palestinian political situation, as the normalization opposes the basis of the Arab peace initiative, as it is built on the idea of giving a Palestinian state in exchange for Arab normalization with Israel, but now Israel has given Palestinians Has made it better without giving. Anything. ”
This concern has also come under criticism by the Palestinian Authority over both the Bahrain and Emirati agreements, as President Mahmoud Abbas said peace could not be achieved without the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.
In the short term, Zerallah hopes “normalization has reached its climax and it is possible to stop at this point temporarily.”
“However, if the current downfall of the Arab people continues, there may be another round of normalization in the form of official visits to Israel’s military influence in Tel Aviv and the Gulf and the Red Sea, which may escalate with the help of the Emirates,” he said.
At the regional level, normalization will increase the intensity of the increase between the Arab states of the Gulf and Iran, which is related to the presence of any Israelis in the region.
Etawah said “Iran’s concern for Israel” was evident from the threatening statements from several Iranian officials of any country that could allow any Israeli and American in the region. These stresses will increase the complexity of the area, ”Ravana said.
Sudan’s decision to normalize relations with Israel has drawn widespread condemnation of political parties within the country.
Niall Uma party president Fadul Allah Burma said, “The transitional government has no right to take such a decision, and they even said they would leave it in Parliament, but they did not do so.”
“We agreed after the revolution [against President Omar al-Bashir] that we would have balanced foreign relations with the world, but that did not happen.”
A prominent member of the Communist Party, Kamal Karr, described the normalization deal as “outrageous,” stating that the transitional government signed a US-sponsored deal in hopes of relief from the country’s debts.
The same day Khartoum signed a US-sponsored agreement to normalize relations with Israel, Washington signed a memorandum of understanding with Sudan to approve $ 1 billion of the country’s dues to the World Bank.
US Treasury Secretary Stephen Menuhin, who signed two agreements, said that Sudan would receive many international economic benefits. “This will create significant positive opportunities for Sudan in unlocking significant amounts of money in both the World Bank, the IMF and the United States.”
For his part, Sudan’s Minister of Justice Nasir Aldin Abdul Bari, who signed the deal, said that Sudan is strongly prepared to move forward to build diplomatic relations with Israel.
“With this signature, we reaffirm our joint vision of working together to strengthen mutual respect between different Abrahamic religions and that the different cultures in the region are the sole guarantee for the region’s nations and new generations, ” They said.
Morocco and Western Sahara
Official diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel began in 1994 at a low level. But after the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada, Rabat severed ties with Tel Aviv in 2000.
Even before official recognition, relations between the two countries have expanded over the past several decades, witnessing Israeli immigration of Moroccan Jews and meetings between the two countries’ officials. It also included a meeting between the King of Morocco and the Prime Minister of Israel.
Morocco and Israel agreed in December to normalize a relationship in brokerage with US help. As part of the deal, the US recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, a disputed territory claimed by both the Rabat and Algerian-backed Polisario Front.
Rabat says the move was not a normal one, but rather resumed official relations that began in 1993 but were suspended in 2000.
Abdel Fattah al-Fatihi, head of the Rabat Sahara and Africa Center for Strategic, said Morocco’s normalization with Israel occurred for several reasons, including its position in the Sahara region.
“Morocco has generalized for several reasons, including that it is interested in reinvigorating its relationship with its Jewish citizens, which number more than 1.5 million Moroccan Jewish citizens in Israel,” El-Fatihi said, such a move would revive “Morocco’s tourism activity after the coronavirus epidemic.”
The political expert insisted that the move would help Rabat to attract significant foreign investments “as well as it seeks to benefit from Israel’s technological superiority for its development projects.”
“At the political level, Morocco – using its ties with Israel – is expected to play a strong role in the Palestinian-Israeli dialogue,” El-Fatihi said.
He stated that “to resume its diplomatic relations with Israel, Morocco would strengthen its negotiating position on the Sahara, and this would be reinforced by the US mobilization of its allies for international recognition of the Sahara of Morocco.”
“The region will also be a destination for important US investment projects, as well as strengthening military and security cooperation between Morocco and the US.”